• Stocks slump midday on peso slide, weak global sentiment


    Share prices fell sharply toward midday Friday on market jitters over the sudden drop in the peso against the US dollar the previous day.

    The Philippine peso had its biggest fall this week since November last year, hitting 44.07 to the dollar at the close of yesterday’s trade from 43.57 previously. The peso was also the biggest loser among Asian currencies, along with the Thai baht.

    By mid-afternoon Friday, the peso had weakened further to 44.13 to $1.

    Weighed down further by poor sentiment on the global equities markets, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) stood 1.10 percent or 76.58 points lower at 6,878.63 at the close of the morning session. The wider All Shares index shed 0.96 percent or 40.14 points to 4,126.36.

    The local stock market found no encouragement from company results that were released during the midday recess, with first-half earnings affected by political tensions in overseas markets, First Grade Finance Managing Director Astro del Castillo said.

    “The political factors are overwhelming, and the local market was down as Asian markets also headed toward declines,” del Castillo said.

    “Earnings did not encourage the market enough,” he added.

    Jason Escartin of F. Yap Securities Inc. said “profit taking in large caps occurred, especially with military tensions escalating between Russia & the US.”

    “This has been seen in the local bourse’s inability to sustain its earlier ascent, including a series of net foreign selling during trades. Sectors that could ride with volatile metal and crude futures might be preferred, especially by short-term traders,” Escartin said.

    Overnight, the Dow lost 75.07 points, Nasdaq erased 20.08 points, while the S&P 500 registered a 10.67-point fall. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO





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